Earlier this week, liberal pundit Keith Olbermann sat down with David Letterman to discuss his abrupt exit from Current TV, and strongly hinted that a lawsuit was forthcoming. Just a few days later, The Hollywood Reporter says Olbermann has filed the papers to put it in motion.
Among other charges, the 43 page complaint alleges that Keith's termination one year into his five year, 50 million dollar contract was completely without cause. Thus, Olbermann is seeking between 50 and 70 million dollars for breach of contract and other slights by his now former employer.
The complaint was filed by LA lawyer Patty Glaser, who very successfully handled Conan O'Brien's exit from NBC back in 2010. It contains the following explanation for the suit: "This action is necessary as Current has repeatedly and willfully breached its written agreement with Olbermann, often continuing to do so after receiving specific notices to cure such breaches."
Current TV responded to the filing with the following statement: "It is well established that over his professional career, Mr. Olbermann has specialized in pounding the table. However, Mr. Olbermann, by filing his false and malicious lawsuit, has now put this matter into a legal process where there will be an objective review of the facts. We hope Mr. Olbermann understands that when it comes to the legal process, he is actually required to show up." Ouch. That's quite the burn. This seems like it's going to get very ugly, really quick.
Among Current's reasons for terminating Olbermann's employment are claims that he missed work too often, and that he refused to promote other Current shows on his program. Olbermann has shot back with accusations of substandard studio facilities with faulty lighting and a refusal by Current to pay bills it had promised to take care of. The language from the legal complaint includes this excerpt: "Current's dysfunction permeated all levels of the organization. After being on the air for nearly eight months -- long after all 'growing pains' should have ceased -- Current still couldn't manage to, literally, keep the lights on. Since the time Hyatt crowned himself CEO, the program was plagued by further logistical nightmares, technical failures and media disasters."
Will time (and his money) march on for the former Countdown host? Or will Current get a judge to declare that Olbermann himself is the worst person in the world? We can only wait and see for now.